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29

which was so high that those directly in front had to crane
their necks upward to watch the speaker. Their attention
never wavered from him, and as they held their faces up-
ward, gazing and immobile, they gave the impression of a
slow, animal patience. >/

The platform had been erected toward one end of the
oval area defined by the race track, and that entire space was
filled with people. Those toward the front sat on the board
benches that had been prepared for the occasion, or on the
ground in the wide aisles. But there were not enough seats,
far from enough, and people stood beyond the seats, ring
after ring of them packed together, all of them staring at
the man on the platform, who must appear, at such a dis-
tance, as nothing more than a tiny black-garbed marionette
that gesticulated in almost soundless pantomime under the
brilliant patch of bunting.

Over to the right, Mr. Munn could see the white walls of
the stables, and on the roofs the forms of the people who
had seized that point of vantage. Beyond the stables was a
grove of oaks. The afternoon was peculiarly windless, pecu-
liarly still. The steady sunlight burned down over the heads
of .the people, over the distant oak trees, and over the wide,
brown fields that were visible to the left beyond the fair
grounds. At a great height, a single buzzard hung motion-
less as though sustained in the incandescent blue of the sky.

Mr. Munn could feel the weight of the sun beating upon
him through the awning. Perspiration was running down
the back of the Senator's neck and his iron-grey hair was
streaked darker with dampness, but he seemed oblivious to
that discomfort, for, standing very erect at the edge of the
platform, he poured forth his full and powerful discourse,
never lifting a hand to relieve his streaming forehead. Occa-
sionally, Mr. Munn wiped his own face with his handker-
chief, and shifted in his chair. He wished again that he had
never come to Bardsville. He could have found out all he
wanted to know from the papers. But here he was, and here
upon the platform. The Senator had urged it, saying, "Of